The Trouble With Bernie

The Initiation-2

One time, early in the morning, Bernie made the mistake of bringing a really remarkable red racer home to show his sister, Charmaine. But she panicked and screamed so loud, she woke up the entire house and, once again, through no fault of his own, Bernie ended up in trouble.

The neighborhood in which Bernie and Alex lived was a good one, not just because it had a whole lot of snakes; it also had a whole lot of kids, boys in particular. Most of them were twelve, thirteen or fourteen years old, and they always had a club that Bernie and Alex - because they were only ten years old - were not allowed to join. The club had disbanded and rebanded many times over the years and they always chose exotic sounding names. The Cobras. The Scorpions. The Amazing Men From Mars. Right now the name of their club was the Blazing Bandits, and more than anything in the world, Bernie and Alex longed to be Blazing Bandits.

No matter what the big boys called themselves, Clark Olsen was always the president of the club, and Brian Shaunessey was always number two in command. Both of them were fourteen years old, athletic, cool and confident. The twelve-year-old Patterson twins, Richard and Robert, and thirteen-year-old Larry Rustalio made up the rest of the gang. Over the years they had worked out an elaborate system of handshakes and signals. They took great pleasure in dropping just enough hints about their club that Bernie and Alex always wanted to join.

... Little did they know that very soon their wish was going to come true.

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